Space Wurm vs Moonicorn

Space Wurm vs Moonicorn
DW Dependencies

Aaron Griffin asked this question so I got curious. So now I’m trying to figure out what all you need to know from Dungeon World proper (vs vanilla PbtA) to make sense of what’s in SWvM. Maybe Johnstone Metzger can set me straight, confirm, or firmly deny my findings!

Must have Dungeon World

* Advancement (get an XP on 6-, when resolving a Bond, acting with Alignment, maybe moves; level up when XP = current level + 7)

* Alignment (for advancement; can you change it per DW?)

* Bonds (for advancement; add new ones when you resolve old ones BUT some of the SWvM bonds are weird/interesting)

* DW combat in general (armor, damage and hit points, you can maybe guess from the playbooks and Front writeups; healing and death per DW? REVISION: Also death move, tweaked for your setting!)

* Debilities — do these ever happen in SWvM? PDF search says The Other does! I think other than The Other’s stuff, debility is mostly a GM move tool, descriptively making someone confused when they get their bell rung, that sort of thing.

* Load and encumbrance special move (but for the life of me I can’t figure out why you’d ever reference this, seems off-tone)

* Possibly the details of the basic moves, but they read as fairly easy to parse even without any DW experience.

* Recover, End of Session and Level Up special moves, I assume.

* The palate of GM moves

* Managing DW fronts and resolving dangers, if you’re sticking to DW and not just eyeballing a front as “resolved.” Which…maybe? But DW has a surprising amount of talk about fronts.

Dungeon World rules I’m not sure about but seem useful

* Recruit special move and Hirelings (skills seem to track okay to space opera, cost, loyalty)

* Steadings, and world creation in general. I think the steading tags map over!

* Campaign Map rules, ooh. REVISION: See Adventures on Dungeon Planet for details on making up new planets.

* REVISION: Journeys, camp, watch, carouse special moves depending on your setting.

* Bolster special move

* Any of the special subsystems of standard DW/CW characters if you’re mapping them over to SWvM. Like…space magic could be a thing I guess.

* Folks of the Realm? Maybe? None of the other monster settings seem relevant, especially given the focus on the Fronts, which already come with enemies.

* Weapons and Armor (esp. given the presence of Load/Encumbrance), I suppose you just map it over: plate mail is “powered armor” etc.

* Gear in general? Seems off-tone but again there’s the fact that encumbrance is a thing in the game. REVISION: See Adventures on Dungeon Planet for detailed gear.

* Custom move writing

DW rules that seem utterly unnecessary and aren’t referenced at all in SWvM

* Gold/Treasure. Looks like “what you’ve got and can get” is handled in other ways on the new playbooks.

* The rest of the special moves (death, perilous journey, take watch, make camp, carouse, supply, outstanding warrants. REVISION: all this depends heavily on your take on the setting)

* Rations or any other dungeoneering grind economy

* The Dungeon moves (REVISION: depending on your vibe; could be good for exploring space hulks or alien ruins or whatever)

* Monster settings: looks like that’s already baked into enemies associated with the Fronts. REVISION: probably useful as stat blocks for your own setting’s critters. Depends on how you do your setting! SECOND REVISION: oh shit lookit all the space fantasy monsters in Adventures on Dungeon Planet as well.

* Compendium classes, don’t even know what that’d look like. REVISION: you could totes do compendium classes but there’s no support at all for what those might look like. Still a possibly useful tool in the DM’s toolbox, especially if you have a strong sense of your setting.

I’m making lots of personal judgements about the Special Moves and I’m not 100% sure about any of them. Like, the whole journeying thing might actually be interesting in some iterations of SWvM. I just can’t imagine the most powerful being in the universe giving a shit about it.

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28 thoughts on “Space Wurm vs Moonicorn

  1. Hey yo, lots here! Some to think about, and here’s a disagreement: our space wyrm used perious journey, through his henchmen. They went someplace outside of his domain.

  2. William Nichols fascinating! I can totally see it working based on how you doodle up your galaxy. There could be legitimately perilous explored regions to deal with (Star Wars, Flash Gordon, etc.). Or you could end up doing up a super-civilized Jupiter Ascending type setting. Seems like an important early decision to make.

    Or maybe the assumption is that elements of those unchosen Fronts are definitionally perilous? Dunno. Would love clarity on that point.

  3. William Nichols literally dragons and liches? Were they sci-fi versions?

    Probably the monsters are useful as easy stat blocks. Maybe I’m eyeballing the scene vibe wrong, but I didn’t think there was much monster fighting. Again I guess that is a setting decision you make early, yeah?

  4. sci-fi versions, for sure.

    The lich was inside a mirror, holding someone enthralled such that his ideas could never change. Moonicurn fought the lich to a standstill, freeing the persons mind.

    The Dragon was black ice, effectively a hacking countermeasure. The Mogul was a hacker and had to get past the Dragon to get access to tasty, tasty data.

    These came about not due to setup, but as a result of what we want after.

  5. Yeah, everything in your Must Have list is must have, except:

    1. Alignment doesn’t need to be D&D alignment, that’s an anachronism, and can be swapped out for drives or motivations like other DW supplements do. I used it to make certain statements in the text, that’s all. It’s mainly for the xp at the end of session.

    2. Load and encumbrance can be ignored if your game stays in civilized settings. If you have no interest whatsoever in the crawl of hex or dungeon, it’s irrelevant (unless there’s a sitch I’ve never encountered or thought of before maybe?).

    Your Useful list is just that: useful IF you care at all, but not needed if you don’t. Dungeon Planet has some good world creation procedures and gear lists if you want gadgets and whatnot.

    As for your Unnecessary list:

    3. I would say Last Breath is necessary and part of the basic rules. I like perilous journeys and carouse a lot, I would totally use them again if I were running any version of DW, whether SWvsM or not, but they are more useful if you care than absolutely necessary. Maybe adapt the wording a bit to suit the genre, also.

    4. Compendium classes are for when players want weird advancements after unexpectedly becoming cyborg wolfoids in session 6, so I wouldn’t worry about that until it happens.

    5. I probably wouldn’t use the DW monster settings but that’s just me, I like to minimize the amount of stuff I have to carry to a game. You can reskin them for sci-fi if you want monsters though, it’s probably not a big deal.

    Otherwise, yeah. I mean, I would expect a classic dungeon crawl through a space station complete with load and rations and making camp to come up before money problems.

  6. Fantastic, Johnstone Metzger, thank you for the input.

    I think, going through both your book and DW, the DW supplement-ness of SWvM jumped more out at me. Like, in terms of underlying themes (action/adventure!) as well as in where they diverge (ambition and ideology rather than cash-money as motivation).

    There are also super-interesting implications if you carry Dungeon World to its logical scifi conclusions, like the fact there’s a Black Gates of Death at all, and one assumes demons and deities (if a Space Cardinal is in play) and so on and so on.

    Looks like I’m gonna pick up Dungeon Planet as well, yikes.

  7. Shervyn von Hoerl it’s not the death, it’s the mythology about what’s beyond death. That’s what the move is for. You can die and not have that move be a thing in the game.

  8. Yeah, but it kind of sucks to just always die when you run out of HP. You don’t necessarily have to use Death per se offering a deal, you can have it be whatever NPC runs the place where a PC died, or the specific characteristics of the world where they died.

  9. Paul Beakley Dungeon Planet is cool, bu I was under the impression SWvM was nearly the same, just like a more fleshed out setting (and two additional classes).

    The other monster books out of Johnstone Metzger are wild, though. Pick those up. Wizard Spawned Insanities is wonderful.

  10. Johnstone Metzger well … sure. Guess I hadn’t really thought about just what all needs to be remapped and what doesn’t, including moves that feel setting-specific but maybe aren’t? I can totally see DW’s death move being part-and-parcel to the capital-a Adventure! element of the game.

  11. Sure. It’s not necessary to reskin stuff, I’m just saying you can if you want to, if some elements don’t jive. It’s totally cool to have space demons and the dark space gates of space death! The point of SWvsM is to be the kind of old sci-fi where you can propose any kind of idea and run with it, and not hard sci-fi where it’s all about sticking to the rules.

  12. Yeah, got it. This is a good conversation! I hope you’re not reading me as being argumentative. I think it’s interesting to look at the/your process and figure out what’s essential versus optional versus unnecessary.

    I didn’t think having an after-you-die move was essential but you do and that’s interesting! That one tiny thing puts a different sci-fantasy gloss on the whole game for me.

  13. What? No, this is very pleasant. I don’t mind talking about my work (besides, I remember you and Burning Empires). Multiple people have questioned why this is even a DW supplement!

    Last Breath is cool because it adds situation to the game, but also if it’s making your idea of the genre more “out there,” it’s already pulling its weight. It’s no good in the quick play version because dying in the middle of a one-shot is total bullshit, but the various suffer harm moves pick up that slack

  14. Johnstone Metzger Reeeally? I dig Adventures on Dungeon Planet quite a bit and always assumed SWvM was more of a Dungeon Planet supplement as opposed to a Dungeon World one. What would you say are the main differences?

  15. Dungeon Planet is basically a series of suggestions for re-skinning DW so it’s science fantasy. SWvsM is a specific campaign framework that uses the DW rules. There’s 6 new DW classes, but they each have sort-of-complicated new rules that support their themes. Like, The Lover is in a love triangle with Space Wurm and Moonicorn, and would probably be pretty weird in a normal DW campaign. The really long GM section is all stuff that could be used in a Dungeon Planet game, though, or any kind of sci-fi DW game. It’s just arranged into categories that correspond to the pillars of society that Space Wurm gets to control 2 of.

  16. Have you considered just using the one shot classes? I think the next time I run swvm: I might just do that. It also leads more naturally to troupe play, since characters aren’t falling behind the level curve.

    I feel like Brand Robins and Mo Jave could speak to this more.

  17. James Stuart yeah, I’m leaning very heavily toward doing it at least as a one-shot just to get a better feel for the game’s vibe. Stras Acimovic points out that it’s tighter and more focused.

    Oh but you’re asking about using the one-shot classes in lieu of the more elaborate level-up classes, right? In a longer-term game? I dunno! I suppose you could just give an advancement away every session or something.

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